A cold night with cold rain, and the world left me alone. I can't find my peace. Bad feelings are swallowing me, anxious, panic, stress and I don't know. Who am I? What should I do?
A little fluffy, calico cat, I named her Angela, snuffing at the blanket right now. How wonderful to be a cat? Never to suffer so much as I do, I showed a bitter smile. The clock was ticking, suddenly striking 3. Still, I couldn’t fall asleep.
In the dark, I found something soft secretly crawling towards my face along my legs. It was Angela, with a burst of anxious mewling, She found me. She kissed my lip with her nose, leaned on my arms tightly, lying down to sleep. It's like she's doing this to be reassuring. At that moment, I found peace, and I fell asleep for a while.
Considering owning a cat like Angela, or even a dog or other kind of pet to comfort you when you are having a hard time? Then, you need to learn about emotional support animals.
First of all, emotional support animals are different from service animals. For example, you may be familiar with service dogs. They are used to help people with disabilities, like blind and deaf people.
While, emotional support animals are used to help people with mental illnesses. Besides, service animals need to accept strict training, and they have to acquire the ability to help people in real life, while emotional support animals don't need professional training.
Here's a video to help you better understand what emotional support animals are.
An emotional support animal (EAS) is a companion animal, a person's pet, typically dogs, but can be others like cats, horses, hamster, rabbits, birds, and mini pigs, etc.
It was prescribed by a person's licensed therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist and was part of the treatment program for this person. EAS is used to bring comfort and minimize the negative symptoms of a person's emotional or psychological disability.
If you suffer from stress disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depressive disorder, panic/anxiety disorders, personality disorders, phobias or other psychological diseases, you could obtain an ESA.
For you to legally qualify for an emotional support animal (ESA), you need a letter that is provided by a licensed mental health professional therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc. You should know that a medical doctor does not qualify because they are not a licensed mental health professional. Some airlines and property managers will accept your family doctor's verification form.
1. You are currently his/her patient.
2. You disability substantially limits at least one major lift activity.
3. Whether you are under his/her care for the treatment of mental disability found in the DSM IV or V (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, version 4 or 5).
4. He/she prescribes for you an emotional support animal as a necessary treatment for your mental health.
You should also pay attention that the letter must be dated, written on his/her letterhead, include his/her license type, number, date of license, and the license state in which the license was issued.
If you don't have a therapist or the therapist is unwilling to write such a letter, You can find some licensed mental health services agencies.
They can provide the online/telephone services of disability testing, assessments and letters of prescription to the clients, such as Chilhowee Psychological Services, which is an agency approved by the U.S. Justice Department, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
If you register your pets, your pets can enjoy some rights that other animals can't. Federal law offers protections in housing, employment, and travel contexts (particularly air travel).
The Air Carrier Access Act applies to individuals with disabilities and emotional support animals traveling on airplanes. But the rules are strict;
You are required to provide more documentation flying with an emotional support animal, such as verification of mental disability and the necessity of a pet. You should get the letters from professionals with their letterhead and cannot be more than one year old. Finally, you may be required to give 48 hours advanced notices to the carrier.
Americans with Disabilities Act also applies to emotional support animals. Employers cannot discriminate against an employee because of his or her disability and must make reasonable accommodations for the disability.
However, like landlords, employers may also require documentation for the need of an emotional support animal.
Landlords must allow renters to live with their emotional support animals as a reasonable accommodation, except under rare circumstances.
A landlord may require a tenant with an emotional support animal to show documentation supporting the fact that the renter has a disability. However, the animal itself need not be certified since no training is required for emotional support animals.
Exceptions you should know that in New York, and under federal law, emotional support animals may not be permitted in public places to the same extent as service animals.
It's very easy to register your pets as an emotional support animal. Only three steps you can finish.
1. You need to get a qualified verification of emotional, psychological disability as I mentioned above.
2. You need to qualify your animal as manageable in public by using the National Service Animal Registry (NSAR) Public Access Test.
After you've finished the ESA registration process, usually within 3-4 days, National Service Animal Registry ( NSAR) will send you these:
1. Two ESA Rocker Patches.
2. Two NSAR Photo IDs. These identification cards identify your animal as an ESA. You'd better carry these cards with you or clip them to your pet's leash, vest, etc. The public may not know what an ESA is.
3. Two Leash Clips for Photo IDs.
4. An official NSAR ESA certificate complete with the NSAR embossed seal.
5. Permanent Inclusion of your animal in the NSAR database.
If you are suffering severe mental disease but have no idea to overcome it even if your therapist helps you a lot. You may try to obtain an emotional support animal as the supplementary therapy. Perhaps it can help you alleviate the agony of psychological torture.
You know animals can't think like we do, but they are good companions especially pets, sometimes even better than humans.